Virtual care

Sometimes an in-person visit with your health care provider isn’t possible or even desirable. In public health emergencies, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, virtual consultations can help prevent the spread of infections. They can also be helpful for patients with mobility issues, people who live in remote areas, and busy parents and workers who want the convenience of connecting from their device.

Virtual care solutions can help create a more sustainable health care system while improving access to care for patients.

Virtual care is any interaction between a patient and health care provider that doesn’t involve direct contact, and it can include video visits, telehomecare and secure messaging.

Flattening the curve

Virtual care solutions have quickly become essential in the current public health crisis. They have enabled physicians to see patients remotely, enabling those experiencing symptoms to continue to self-isolate, reducing the risk of exposure for others.

Additionally, PrescribeIT®, Canada Health Infoway’s national e-prescribing service, enables prescribers to send prescriptions electronically to a patient’s pharmacy of choice, reducing the need for in-person physician or nurse practitioner visits, and enabling vulnerable populations to limit their time outside thereby reducing their risk of infection.

Patients’ views

Patients who participated in a recent e-visits pilot project said e-visits were as good as or better than in-person visits and that they would have e-visits again.

Icons Virtual Care Evisits Quality

98% of patients felt e-visits were the same as or better than an in-person visit

Icons Virtual Care Evisits Convenience

92% of patients said e-visits made accessing care more convenient

Icons Virtual Care Evisits Redo

99% of patients said they would use e-visits again



Types of virtual care

Telehomecare

Telehomecare or remote patient monitoring solutions enable patients with chronic conditions, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), to become active participants in the management of their health by equipping them with easy-to-use digital health technology in their homes and by connecting them remotely with health care professionals who help them monitor and manage their condition. By closely monitoring their condition, and receiving coaching from health care professionals, patients are able to deal with issues before they become critical, enabling them to avoid hospital stays and trips to the emergency room.

e-Mental Health

e-Mental health solutions can help Canadians connect with the help they need 24/7, including crisis support, online self-help tools, video-based counselling, peer support tools and coaching. These solutions can also reduce the stigma associated with seeking help for mental health issues. Services such as the Crisis Text Line by Kids Help Phone, for example, enable young people to connect with help using the technology they prefer.

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